Archive

  • Every marketeer has spent countless hours strategizing on how to target millennials, which has led them to neglect an important audience: introducing the Midult. Paula De Luca, creative director of trend forecasting company Trendvision, defines the midult as a women between the ages of 35 and 55 who has spending power – in other words, a Generation X female, born between 1960 and 1980. Following millennials and baby boomers, Gen X is the third largest generation in America, making up 25% of the 60 million adults in the U.S. 

  • Tiffany & Co. today (March 17) reported its financial results for the full year and the three months (fourth quarter) ended January 31, 2017, which were consistent with its previously issued guidance for the 2016 fiscal year. Worldwide net sales declined 3% in the year and rose 1% in the fourth quarter, while in both periods higher gross margins countered growth in operating expenses. Net earnings per diluted share declined 1% in the full year and 2% in the fourth quarter. The company generated more than $700 million of cash flow from operating activities in the full year. 

  • Citing figures from Jewelers Security Alliance, National Jeweler reports that jewelry crime rose 6 percent year-over-year in 2016, to 1,245 reported crimes committed against U.S. jewelry firms, compared with 1,177 in 2015. The losses in dollar terms were roughly equivalent, increasing approximately 5% to $72.4 million. Michelle Graff notes there were a total of six industry homicides in 2016 - five jewelers and one traveling salesman - up from two in 2015, while jewelers killed five robbers, up from three in 2015.

  • Sales at specialty jewelry stores in the U.S. grew 3.8 percent to $31.43 billion in 2016 following a sharp rise in December, according to data from the the U.S. Census Bureau. December sales jumped 7 percent to $6.21 billion from $5.81 billion in December 2015, the provisional figures showed. To give an indication of the impact of December sales on overall jewelry sales, the monthly sales average for the 11 months before December was $2.29 billion, meaning that December sales represented a 170% rise over the 11 months prior.

  • Hundreds of former employees of Sterling Jewelers, the multibillion-dollar conglomerate owned by Signet - the largest specialty jewelry retailer in the US, UK and Canada, with about 3,600 stores under brand names such as Kay Jewelers and Jared The Galleria of Jewelry - claim that its chief executive and other company leaders presided over a corporate culture that fostered rampant sexual harassment and discrimination, according to arbitration documents obtained by

  • Tiffany & Co. announced it would appoint three new independent directors to join its board of directors, making a total of 13 members. Roger Farah, James Lillie and Francesco Trapani will join the board as part of an agreement between Tiffany and stakeholders Jana Partners. “We are excited to be adding such distinguished directors to our Board as part of our ongoing process to refresh the Board, and we are pleased to have worked cooperatively with JANA Partners to have met our objective,” says Chairman Michael Kowalski.

  • The la Gloria, an 887 ct. museum-quality stone which is believed to be the largest Muzo rough emerald in North America, is to be auctioned by Guernsey’s on April 25 in New York City. The La Gloria and 17 smaller rough emeralds discovered from the wreck of Spanish galleon Nuestra Señora de Atocha, are all from the collection of noted emerald authority Manuel Marcial de Gomar. “It’s very rare for an auction to spotlight emeralds,” says Arlan Ettinger, founder and president of Guernsey’s.

  • De Grisogono, a Geneva-based high-end jeweler, has entered a partnership with Jewelers DLK for its American operations in an effort to further develop the brand’s presence in the U.S. The partnership with DLK, owned by David and Lisa Klein, will enable the brand to further develop their precious stones, haute-jewelry collections and move away from being a brand that is reputed solely for having bought some of the world’s largest rough diamonds. De Grisogono USA will be managed by the Kleins, the Geneva-based company said on Friday.

  • 179-year-old Tiffany & Co. has made headlines recently, launching a new ad campaign featuring Lady Gaga - who rocked the Super Bowl halftime show - and quietly dropping CEO Frederic Cumenal.  Cumenal was let go due to his inability to turn around the dropping sales figures since taking over in April 2015.

  • Tiffany & Co.’s Chief Executive Officer, Frederic Cumenal, has decided to step down from his post. The Board of Directors is actively searching for a successor, but until then, former CEO Michael J. Kowalski will serve as Interim CEO while continuing as Chairman of the Board of Directors. In a statement, the company said the decision was based on its disappointing financial results and that the brand needed to improve its performance.

  • Tiffany & Co. has announced it will run its first-ever Super Bowl commercial this year, and has selected Lady Gaga (Stefani Germanotta) to star. As Roberta Naas writes for Forbes, the commercial is a 60-second spot wherein Lady Gaga will promote a new collection of jewelry - Tiffany HardWear - that will launch in spring. The commercial is scheduled to air during Super Bowl LI on Sunday, February 5, before the halftime show. Lady Gaga is also this year's Super Bowl halftime performer. The ad will be seen in 10 markets across the country.

  • "Last year, 1,669 jewelry businesses (including manufacturers and wholesalers) ceased operations in the United States, a 50 percent jump from 2015, according to the Jewelers Board of Trade", writes JCK's Rob Bates. In total, the number of jewelry businesses fell by 6%. He notes that a surprisingly large number of businesses closed their doors in the fourth quarter, traditionally a time when the trade is in full swing. Bates provides the gory details: 1,269 U.S.

  • While it is early days for an already turbulent and unpredictable Trump administration, news that the White House has floated the idea of introducing a border tax on imports from Mexico is likely causing anxiety among retailers that rely on such imports.

  • Jewelry manufacturer Samuel Aaron Inc. plans to shut down its operations in Mount Vernon, NY, with 42 jobs to be cut, reports Instoremag.com. Citing the Journal News, which in turn cites a filing with the state Department of Labor, the layoffs are slated to start April 12, with the closure of the plant set for later that month. Samuel Aaron produces DiamonLuxe simulated gemstone jewelry along with other products. Instoremag writes that Samuel Aaron, which has several hundred employees worldwide, is part of the Aaron Group.

  • Mbada Diamonds could have denied Zimbabwe of millions of dollars in revenue by under-declaring its diamond sales over the years after it emerged that its average price per carat was about three times lower than that of other firms extracting gems from Chiadzwa, writes The Herald.

  • In his latest Diamond Intelligence Briefs, “Keeping Stock of U.S. Kimberley Process Certificates”, industry analyst Chaim Even-Zohar takes another hard look at the U.S. rough diamond trade and the country’s half-hearted approach when it comes to implementing Kimberley Process (KP) certification standards domestically.

  • According to a Rapaport press release: Polished diamond prices softened in December as Indian liquidity dried up due to the government’s demonetization policy eliminating 500 and 1,000 rupee notes. Trading slowed with dealers taking vacation during the holiday period,"  The RapNet Diamond Index (RAPI™) for 1-carat, RapSpec A3+ diamonds fell 1.3% in December. RAPI for 0.30-carat diamonds edged up 0.2%, while RAPI for 0.50-carat stones fell 2.2%. RAPI for 3-carat diamonds slid 1%. RAPI for 1-carat diamonds declined 3% in the fourth quarter and 5% for the full year.

  • Consumer confidence climbed in December to the highest level since August 2001 as Americans were more upbeat about the outlook than at any time in the last 13 years, writes Bloomberg based on a report from the Conference Board, a New-York based independent business membership and research association working in the public interest. The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index®, which had increased considerably in November, posted another gain in December: the Index now stands at 113.7 (1985=100), up

  • Reflecting on the impact of the Trump election victory on the future of the diamond trade, particularly on the U.S. and India, independent industry consultant Pranay Narvekar writes in GJEPC's Solitaire International that America's share of the global polished diamond market - already the highest by far at 45% of total value - should only increase in the coming years, while the strength of the dollar and other expected policy moves will only exacerbate uncertainty throughout the trade.

  • The Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County has opened its “Diamonds: Rare Brilliance” exhibit, a collection rare colored gems never before seen in the United States. At the exhibition’s center is the “Juliet Pink Diamond,” an extremely rare pink diamond of more than 30 carats, and a Fancy Deep Grayish Bluish Violet named the “Argyle Violet Diamond,” after the Argyle mine in Western Australia where it was discovered in 2015.

  • The American rapper 2 Chainz collaborated with his personal jeweler Avianne in order to created a one-of-a-kind black sweater that is adorned with a Santa doing the “hit dem folks” dance move.
    The sweater includes 50 carats of diamonds trimming Santa’s hat and 250 grams of gold in Santa’s belt buckle. The lucky owner of this Ugly sweater will simply have to dish out a cool $90,000. 

  • The founder and CEO of Gemological Science International (GSI), Mark Gershburg, has decided to step down as director of USKPA, writes Stacey Hailes of the National Jeweller. The USKPA, US Kimberley Process Authority, is an organization that works closely with the U.S. government in order to prevent conflict diamonds from circulating with legitimate trade.

  • ALROSA announced at it annual business meeting with the company’s long-term clients that as of 2017, the company will start regular special-size (+10.8 carats) diamond auctions in Vladivostok, seen as a way to bolster the eastern market, and is planning to resume special-size diamond auctions in New York. ALROSA further announced that in 2017, all competitive bidding will be held online on a platform for electronic tenders developed by the company. Test sales on the new platform were held in 2016 and received a positive feedback from the participants, the statement said.

  • The recently published Global Diamond Report 2016 prepared by Bain & Company and AWDC covers industry developments in 2015 and early 2016 and takes a close look at the millennial generation (roughly speaking, people born between 1980 and the early 2000s) as a new category of diamond buyers.

  • Bain & Company together with the Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC) has published their sixth annual report on the global diamond jewelry trade, with the lead insight being that in 2015 - not a banner year by any stretch of the imagination - retail sales grew 3% at constant exchange rates but declined about 2% in US dollar terms due to currency depreciation and slower demand in China. This followed a period of growth from 2012 through 2014, signifying that diamond jewelry consumption has entered "a moderation phase".

  • Forevermark, the diamond brand from The De Beers Group of Companies, unveiled The Forevermark Black Label Collection, a new generation of beautiful fancy shape diamond cuts creating an exceptional sparkle. The brand developed its own propitiatory technology that maximizes the brilliance of each stone, as a diamonds beauty is intrinsically related to the way light is refracted. The new technology allows for perfectly symmetrical cuts which are presumed to be unprecedented in accuracy in every shape.

  • In response to Walmart selling their $18,000 Diamond Watch on walmart.com, Cartier issued a statement clarifying that Walmart is not authorized to sell its products. Walmart has more than tripled its online offering of products over the past year, and made headlines last week when the Wall Street Journal reported that a third-party vendor, New York-based Jewelry Unlimited, was selling a $18,000 diamond watch by Cartier on walmart.com on Black Friday. Cartier took aim at Walmart on Monday, saying it could not vouch for the authenticity of the watches sold via walmart.com.

  • The diamond market has been going through difficult times for a while now, but diamond trade data paint a far more optimistic picture than in June, signalling that trade has turned the corner, writes Georgette Boele of ABN Amro in their "Insights" report. Back in June when ABN last published their diamond insights report, Boele still doubted if global diamond trade would improve, but trade data have clearly improved in all centres, most noticeably in Antwerp, Israel and India.

  • Cheetos, the finger-lickingly good snack brand owned by Frito-Lay, has launched a high-quality jewelry collection to ring in the holidays. The jewelry set, ‘Eye of the Cheetah from the Chestora Collection’, includes a one-of-a-kind gold and diamond encrusted earring and ring set which retails at $20,000. The dazzling Eye of the Cheetah, an 18k yellow gold ring, features a magnificent 4.7 carat orange sapphire. Each earring boasts matching orange sapphires, totaling 2.89 carats.

  • Signet Jewelers, the world's largest retailer of diamond jewelry, reports its same store sales for the third quarter of fiscal 2017 (ended October 29) fell 2.0%, while total sales fell $30.2 million to $1.2 billion, a 2.5% decline. Nonetheless, the results outstripped the company’s own guidance of a 3 to 5 percent decline. As Mark Light, Chief Executive Officer of Signet Jewelers said, “We expected challenging market conditions to result in a sales decline.

  • Chow Tai Fook, the Hong Kong based jewelry powerhouse that has taken Asia by storm, operating more than 1,800 stores in Mainland China, has finally made its way to the U.S.
    The group opened their first shop-in-shop at Macy’s in Flushing Queens, colloquially referred to as ‘the Chinese Manhattan’, on November 12 2016. The shop spans approximately 500 square feet, and is based in one of the most dynamic districts in New York City with a large customer base of immigrants and tourists.

  • According to Rapaport News as gathered from U.S. Census Bureau data, U.S. polished diamond imports surged 33% to $2.18 billion in September. In terms of volume, imports rose 7% when compared to September 2015, with 988,097 carats being traded.

  • In his latest Diamond Intelligence Briefing, "A Fraud in Progress... A Criminal Conspiracy to Default Hits Indian Exporters", industry insider Chaim Even-Zohar unravels a massive case of fraud perpetrated by a rogue diamond broker and US-based buyers against Indian diamond suppliers, currently estimated at $35-50 million.

  • A major U.S. jewelry manufacturer and retailer Stuller and Dominion Diamond Corp. have partnered to bring CanadaMark melee diamonds to the U.S. market, writes Logan Sachon for JCK.

  • JCK's Rob Bates writes that one of the largest remaining specialty jewelry chains in the US, Helzberg Diamonds, will no longer carry synthetic diamonds. "Last year," writes Bates, "Helzberg Diamonds’ experimented with stocking lab-grown diamonds. It was the largest jewelry retailer to do so.

  • Thirteen years after the the United States government initially banned the import of all gemstones from Burma (Myanmar) to put pressure on the military junta that had ignored democratic elections, placed Nobel Peace Prize laureate Aung San Suu Kyi under house arrest, and persecuted minority groups throughout the country, U.S. sanctions on imports of the Burmese gemstones were officially lifted by an executive order on October 7.

  • Helen H. Wang, an award-winning author and expert on China’s middle class, writes for Forbes that Chinese millennials, in addition to their burgeoning numbers (by 2020, Chinese millennials are expected to reach 300 million strong, compared to 80 million in the U.S.) have two distinct advantages over their U.S. counterparts: no student loan debt and no housing expenses. According to China National Administration of Tourism, writes Wang, more than 120 million Chinese traveled abroad in 2015, spending $194 billion.

  • "U.S. polished diamond imports rose to the highest level seen in the seasonally slow month of August in three years", writes Rapaport News. The traditional slowdown at end of summer was no different this year, as August was the slowest month in 2016 thus far. Nonetheless, according to government figures, inbound shipments of polished rose 2.4 percent to $1.66 billion, the strongest August since 2013 when orders stood at $1.67 billion.

  • The highly anticipated launch of the Diamond Producers Association's "Real is rare. Real is a diamond" category marketing campaign is finally a fait accompli. Two intense ads featuring young couples will air on broadcast television and various digital platforms such as Hulu alongside a social media push. The Diamond Producers Association has also planned a major public relations initiative in its efforts to reintroduce young Americans to the appeal of a real diamond.

  • The Chinese National Day holiday period - also known as Golden Week - started October 1 and runs until October 7. It is the most important period after Chinese New Year in terms of the number of Chinese travelers, writes Jing Daily.